Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The interior of Tribeca's Adeline Adeline. Femia, 4/14/10
Recently, lots of jazzy bike shops have been opening up. These stores aren't your run-of-the-mill neon-lit BMX dealerships. No, these are chic, full-fledged boutiques with unapologetically stylish wheels for sale. Often they sell equally hip bike accessories, or even have coffee shops, clothing lines, or bike culture-related events on the side. And with the city adding in green-painted roadside bike lanes, it's hard to resist these healthy-heart makers. If you're sick of renting a beat-up bike from those sign-holder guys haggling on Central Park South, check out these five NYC businesses offering up pretty two-wheelers.
1. Who: Rapha Cycle Club
What: This Bowery pop-up shop is only open through the end of the summer. Here you can catch a screening of July's Tour de France, a coffee, and some bike accessories (but no actual bikes). The store has a carefully edited collection of products ranging from water bottles ($15) to Paul Smith bags ($125) to Rapha's own lush-looking quarterly magazine, Rouleur, and house-brand cycling shirts ($195) and jackets ($250.) Who says helmet hair is the only accessory to a bike? Cute toppers—it's just how we roll.
Where: 352 Bowery between Great Jones and Fourth Streets (212-228-1529)
2. Who: Adeline Adeline
What: Another recent addition to the landscape, this Tribeca store hits it right on the button and is a self-proclaimed "very nice bicycle shop." Owner Julie Hirschfeld seems to know what women want out of their bikes: something sturdy/safe enough to take the wear and tear of the city streets, cute enough to maintain the stylish integrity of your outfit, and unique enough to stand out on the bike racks. Totally retro yet thoroughly modern bikes, chic helmets, saddle bags/baskets, and other adorable accessories await. It's a one-stop shop for your bici outfit. As Adeline Adeline's website says, "Summer is better on a bicycle"!
Where: 147 Reade Street between Greenwich and Hudson Streets (212-227-1150)
3.Who: Rolling Orange
What: "Slow down. Meander. Feel life." This bike store opened in Cobble Hill less than two months ago. If you're not a Brooklynite, shift gears and head over for the selection of rides with big, sturdy baskets. Owner Ad Hereijgers knows his stuff, stocking only the best of the best of Holland's bikes and bike culture (we hear bike-related movies are to come). Various colors, styles, price points, and add-ons customize your rolling experience.
Where: 269 Baltic Street at the corner of Court Street (718-935-0695)
4. Who: bfold
What: Strida bikes are all the rage for savvy cyclists everywhere. At just under 20lbs, the standard STRiDA 5.0 is foldable and fits in a sold-separately shoulder bag. We can't help but feel that the pack-up-and-go folding bike is a witty response to the stylish cruiser craze of late. Can't you see someone give a dashing grin when, folding up their bike, they draw a small crowd? It's part rebellious, part insider-geeky, but totally functional. Other totally legit yet gimmicky folding bike brands can be found at the specialty store bfold. Stop by for an eco-friendly, convenient, and hip pair of hot wheels. Sneak your folding bike onto the train and collapse it in the amount of time it takes for the conductor to give you a reprimanding for breaking train rules.
Where: 224 E. 13th Street, Unit #1 (ground level) between Second and Third Avenues (212-529-7247). Also online at Nimli.com, plus check this generous list of Strida dealers around the globe.
5. Who: Bowery Lane Bicycles
What: Pick yourself a pretty Bowery Lane cruiser, handmade right here in NYC, so you can get "the feeling of freedom and excitement you had as a kid when riding a new bike," according to the brand's website. Vintage-inspired and made with American steel, these wheelers are lower on the price spectrum (a 3-speed Breukelen cruiser will set you back $745). Bowery Lane says they "produce these bikes conscious of our impact on the country, the environment and the local community." The bikes' signature wooden crates are perfect for carrying sandwiches and beach towels, but will take you right into fall as a hand-picked-apples storage spot. Plus a new collab between Bowery Lane and Brooklyn Industries allows you to grab yourself a bike and a cute bike-inspired graphic tee in one fell swoop.
Where: Bowery Lane's Lower East Side showroom is appointment-only, but you can find the two-wheelers at Landmark Vintage Bicycles at 136 East Third Street (212-674-2343), Brooklyn Denim Company at 85 North Third Street (718-782-2600), and Smith & Butler at 225 Smith Street (718-855-4295). Also sold at Brooklyn Industries.
·NYC Bike Shops [Gridskipper]